Before driving on any of the trails, contact the ranger stations about permits. The information in this book was accurate at the time of its publication, but may change over time. At this time you need a permit to camp or park in the recreation areas of the Tonto National Forest, but not to drive through it or to camp in non-recreational areas. You can buy it online, at many local stores, or at ranger stations near the trails. You will need a permit from the Arizona State Land Department to drive on State Trust Land. A downloadable pdf file, Arizona Off-Highway Vehicle Guide, OHV Laws and Places to Ride, gives valuable information about licensing regulations and other laws.
You will also need permits to drive the Bulldog Canyon in the Mesa District of the Tonto National Forest, and to drive or to camp on the Navajo Reservation. You will find information at the ranger stations listed in Appendix B. Camping Restrictions The following information about dispersed camping comes from the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management: http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/st__george/recreation/camping/dispersed_camping.html If you intend to camp along the GWT, please follow these regulations. Failure to do so could result in a forest fire or fine, or both.
It is the general policy of the BLM that undeveloped Federal lands under its administration are available to the public for camping and general recreation, with the following provisions: Camping at any one site is limited to 14 days per visit Pack out what you pack in Avoid camping within 200 ft. of any water source Do not leave campfires unattended. Whenever camping outside designated campsites please practice the following minimum impact style camping: Camp at previously used sites, if possible.
Research studies have shown that the most rapid negative changes to soil and vegetation occur during the first few times a campsite is used. Firepans or stoves are recommended when camping on BLM. A fire pan is a metal tray used to contain a campfire and prevent the fire from blackening the soil (oil pans work great!). Before breaking camp, it is a simple matter to transfer cold ashes into a plastic bag or other container for disposal at home. If you use a fire pan carefully, it is possible to leave a campsite with no scars or evidence of your use. Avoid building new fire rings. Unnecessary fire rings scar the natural beauty of sites and reduce the amount of space available for sleeping and cooking areas. Use only dead and down wood for campfires.
Bringing your own firewood is the best policy to practice. Both dead and live trees add to the scenic qualities of campsites. Do not put cans, bottles, or aluminum foil into a fire ring. These items do not burn, and their presence may lead subsequent users of the site to build a new fire ring. Burn campfire logs to ashes, then douse with water. Do not smother a campfire with soil, as this will make it difficult for the next visitor to use the same fire ring. If you must leave a campsite before the fire burns all of the wood, douse the fire with water before you are ready to leave camp, then stir it with a stick, then douse it again to make sure it is completely out.